Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has updated its offerings for families, recognizing some of the challenges faced by parents and carers working today. 

As part of the Firm's family friendly policies, which have, since 2014  incorporated enhanced maternity pay and enhanced pay for shared parental leave , the Firm will now offer enhanced paternity pay and leave. The paid paternity leave will be extended from 2 weeks to 12 weeks, following the birth of a baby or adoption of a child.  The additional 10 weeks leave can be taken at any time during the first year of a child's birth or adoption, to provide greater flexibility. This change has been introduced to recognize that some partners may not have qualified for leave under previous policies. The Firm is adopting this policy change with immediate effect, offering it to qualifying employees whose baby has been or will be born after 01 July 2021. 

Separately, in order to help facilitate the transition back to work and supporting parents who are visiting with their children, Baker McKenzie is introducing a dedicated Parenting Area for new mothers, pregnant employees and parents. The Parenting Area consists of a general Parenting Room, which can be used by expectant mothers to rest, and a New Parent Room.

Finally, Baker McKenzie is introducing a Pregnancy Loss Policy. The Firm recognizes that this can be extremely distressing for both parents and is committed to supporting employees who might require support after experiencing a loss. The policy aims to be inclusive as possible, and employees who have been affected by pregnancy loss, which includes miscarriage, still-birth, neo-natal loss, unsuccessful fertility treatment and abortion (including partners and those with a surrogate mother) will be eligible for up to at least 5 days' leave, fully paid. This policy will also be in place with immediate effect. 
Ed Poulton, Baker McKenzie's London Managing Partner, said,

"I am proud that we have made these important changes. Ours is an inclusive Firm, and we recognise that no two families or their circumstances are quite the same. Acknowledging at least some of these differences, and building empathy and greater flexibility into our policies, helps us to be a more supportive employer." 
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